Newsflash: March 8, 2024

Principal’s Corner

by Mr. Benjamin Martin, Middle & High School Principal

The Importance of Setting Short Term and Long Term Goals

Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

During the Week Without Walls trips a few weeks ago, one of the most impactful activities for me was going on a hike with the grade 11 students. I had grown up in the rocky mountains so I was very surprised to learn that there were quite a few students who were going on a hike for the first time. Though there were some challenges along the way, the students were able to help each other through the rocky bits, the exhaustion, and the muscle cramps to make it to the top where they could share some food and an incredible view.

The next week, I met with grade 8s to talk about goal setting and I spotted one of the grade 11s at the back of the room. “Why did we need to stop along the way?” I asked him. He replied that it was because we needed to pace ourselves because there was no way we could do it all at once.

This strategy could be applied to all aspects of our life. As explained in an article on goal setting exercises on, “The author Annie Dillard once said in her book The Writing Life, ‘How we spend our days is how we spend our life’ and I think this is a great quote to contemplate in the theme of goal setting. How we spend our life – the things we want to do – is made up of all the smaller days in-between, and the same is true of achieving a goal. It’s the small steps in the middle that create success.”

The article continues by referencing Dr. Edwin Locke’s Goal Setting Theory, where it seems for goal setting exercises to work they need two key things:

  1. To be small, achievable and measurable over time

  2. Set specific and clear outcomes

It is helpful for us to make long-term goals and then set shorter, achievable daily and weekly goals. If we are looking to achieve increased physical strength, it is about making sure that we have an exercise plan for at least a couple days a week. If we are trying to learn a new language, we should at least memorize a short list of words and a couple of phrases every week. It is not about making it to the top from start to finish but about making it to each of the stops along the way. As we push through our challenges to meet our short-terms goals, eventually we will reach our long-term goal at the top!

Upcoming events of note

  • Mar 11: Start of 4th quarter
  • Mar 11 – 15: STEM Week
  • Mar 12: Regular CIS Corporation Meeting
  • Mar 14 – 16: ISAC 3 @ BISB
  • Mar 18 – Apr 1: IB Art Exhibition
  • Mar 25 – Apr 1: Spring/Easter Break

Please refer to the CIS Event Calendar for the complete calendar of school events.

SAIS Educators Visit CIS

Ms. Maureen Juanson, Elementary School Principal, PYP Coordinator, & Accreditation Officer

This week, CIS welcomed a team of educators from Stockbridge American International School (SAIS) Davao. SAIS is currently in the candidacy phase of the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme (IB PYP) and is seeking ways to effectively implement and integrate the PYP framework into its curriculum. Our connection with SAIS was first established when Mrs. Aimee Underwood (Assistant PYP Coordinator and Grade 5 Homeroom teacher) led an IB workshop at their school in her capacity as an IBEN workshop leader in November 2023. During their two-day visit to our school, SAIS educators observed the different PYP classes and engaged in discussions with our PYP teachers and leadership team. These opportunities have provided the SAIS educators a chance to see the PYP in action and gain insight into how the IB Standards and Practices are implemented. The SAIS educators have expressed their sincere admiration for the impressive work that CIS has done in implementing the IB PYP, the dedication of our PYP teachers in preserving the integrity of the program by employing best teaching practices, and the way our PYP students demonstrate the IB learner profile attributes and ATL skills. They also expressed their appreciation to the CIS community for their warm welcome and hospitality.

This visit exemplifies CIS’ commitment to fostering connections beyond our school walls. This exchange of knowledge and experiences enriched both the CIS and SAIS faculty and has allowed us to contribute to the wider educational landscape within the IB network of schools. We look forward to the opportunity to build upon this connection and possible collaborations in the future not only with SAIS but also with other IB schools in the region.


by Ms. Demelyn Dargantes, PHE Teacher

Cebu International School Buzzes with House Activities Day Excitement!

The energy is electric at Cebu International School as the third house day unfolds! Teams Narra, Mahogany, Molave, and Acacia are all fired up, ready to compete and showcase their school spirit.

From the cheers echoing across the grounds to the vibrant team colors, the atmosphere is one of pure excitement. Whether it’s during academic competitions, creative challenges, or athletic events, every student is eager to contribute to their house’s success.

While there will be only one winner, the true spirit of the day lies in the camaraderie and sportsmanship displayed by all participants. It’s a day to celebrate individual talents, teamwork, and the joy of being part of a vibrant school community.

The competition may be fierce, but one thing’s for sure: everyone is looking forward to a fun-filled day with unforgettable moments!

Stop Press: HAD 3 winners were Molave!

Grade 9: Individuals and Societies Class

by Ms. Joy Pierra, Individuals & Societies Teacher

The I&S 9 class has been diving deep into their Unit 3 topic, “Exploring Global Interactions through Cultural Choices.”

They’ve embarked on a journey, learning how societies from all over the world connect and influence each other through their unique cultures. To end the unit, they hosted a spectacular Culture Fair last Tuesday, March 5, 2024, at the Media Center! 

This activity aimed to help them understand how global interactions shape personal and cultural expressions. It was also an opportunity for them to celebrate and understand how connected we all are in today’s globalized world. 

Huge thanks to the PLC 5 class and their amazing teacher, Ms. Jessa Luntayao, for joining in and making the fair a success. We hope that they can apply the things that they’ve learned as they continue to explore how the Philippines connects to the world.

#CultureFair #GlobalInteractions #I&S9Journey 

Here are some of the I&S 9 students’ thoughts about the fair.

The culture fair was an unforgettable experience that allowed us to share our research with the g5 and for us to gain an outside perspective on the countries we chose to speak about. Overall, I am glad that I was able to explain, answer questions, and learn from the G5s.


The culture fair was a very engaging, yet informative activity that allowed both us the Grade 9s and Grade 5s to learn.


It was very fun interacting with Grade 5 and it was also very interesting presenting to a grade we aren’t familiar with.


The culture fair was an educational experience giving the chance for the fifth graders to explore and interact with different parts of other cultures and communities in a simple straightforward way.


The cultural fair was really fun, it was not only extremely fun to interact with the grade 5s but also being able to share the information that was gained during the weeks of research that we had, making all our work pay off in the end.


The culture fair was truly a satisfying experience. Being able to engage, talk, and share, some of the information we gr 9’s have researched and worked tirelessly on made our efforts pay off. Being able to share some of the artifacts and food we were able to acquire was worth it, to see the joy on the gr 5’s faces. An unforgettable moment for sure.


Here’s the feedback from the Grade 5 PLC students.

The fair is very informative, fun, and interactive.


All presentations are very clear… very interactive. You can gain some knowledge and aspirations and stuff.


I really enjoyed the presentations. They show how we are learning from each other.


The feedback that I want to give to the Grade 9 is that, it was so fun… it’s really awesome, and I like all the props and the food they provide.


Grade 11: Extended Essay

by Mr. Steve Duba-Maack, IB Extended Essay Teacher

To ensure that IB students have the opportunity to broaden their study in an area of interest to them, and to embed research (one of our ATL skills) in that study, all CIS students are required to complete a crucial part of the IB curriculum, the Extended Essay.

The Extended Essay (usually called the “EE” at school) is a 4000-word essay on a topic chosen by each student, and that topic must fit into one of the established IB subject areas. Students are encouraged to select a subject area and topic that is of interest to them, and then to shape that into a research question that will guide their research process. It is best if students choose a topic in which they are not already experts so that they actually must research their topics. Their topic might be an extension of something they are passionate about, but it should be something that requires them to complete academic research and to synthesize information from multiple and varied sources.

A complete draft of the Extended Essay is expected in August just after the students, newly Grade 12s, return from their June/July break. Our challenge is to make sure that students have the knowledge and resources they need to complete that draft over the break. To help students meet that challenge, they are working with a faculty or staff supervisor who will help direct their research process and serve as a sounding board for their ideas and concerns.

While Business Management is the most popular EE subject area, we also have students working on EEs in Psychology, Language and Literature, History, Film, Biology, Mathematics, and Global Politics.

Here is what some current Grade 11s are saying about how the research process on their EEs is shaping up:

Business Management: I hope to learn about how Taylor Swift’s branding and advertising strategies have sustained her career over the years. By measuring her success in the entertainment industry quantitatively and qualitatively, I will be able to determine the effectiveness of her strategies and their impact on her brand image and loyalty, as she has kept a large fan base since her early career which continues to grow. This research also offers an exploration of business dynamics within entertainment, which would help me decide whether Business in entertainment or marketing would be a possible major or career for me.

Language & Literature: I think one of the most interesting or enjoyable parts of working on the EE is looking at how individuals with mixed cultural backgrounds are portrayed in different forms of artistic expression. As someone who is mixed myself, I’d like to hear about other people’s experiences, widen my perspective, and educate myself on the world around me. I hope to broaden my perspective on the experiences of people who also have a mixed cultural background as well as look at how biracial people are represented in forms such as poems and music. I can learn about how heritage and cultural influences shape someone’s sense of belonging and self and it can help me connect with others.

History: The most challenging part of preparing to write my EE so far has been finalizing the research question. Despite being such a small part of the proposal’s completion, it is what commences my research as well as establishing the basis of inquiry for the next few months when I do start writing about my topic. To say it’s important would be an understatement, and quite frankly it is probably the only thing that truly matters in the proposal as it is mostly, if not everything, my research will be based on as well as your focus for the whole process.

Student Achievement

Congratulations to Cameron from Grade 4, for winning the 2024 ASJJF Cebu Open International Jiu Jitsu Championship in his division!

College & Careers Counselor Corner

by Ms. Jenny Basa, College Counselor



March 11
3:30 – 4:15pm
Canteen Annex
Link to sign up

University of British Columbia) – face to face chat with  the recruitment rep of UBC and learn about the application process, programs and scholarship offered.

March 16 Saturday
EducationUSA events:
Parent Conference at 9:00AM – 12:00PM
Link to register for Parent Conference

Grade 11/12 Student Bootcamp
2:00 – 6:00PM
Link to register for Student Bootcamp

Venue: Holiday Inn, Cebu City

Education USA Events in March

SAT Update

2023–24 School Year Test Dates

Test Date Deadline for Registration, Changes and Regular Cancellation
May 4, 2024 April 19, 2024
June 1, 2024 May 16, 2024

To register for the SAT, you may click on this link.  If you need assistance or have any questions, please feel free to email Ms. Jenny Basa at

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